The Tromsø Study: predictors of self-evaluated health--has society adopted the expanded health concept?

Soc Sci Med. 1991;32(2):141-6. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(91)90053-f.


The determinants of self-evaluated general health status were examined in a comprehensive population study of 9408 men aged 20-61 and 9152 women aged 20-56. Reduced self-evaluated health was in both sexes closely related to symptoms and diseases connected to the musculo-skeletal system and psycho-social problems and less to age and some of the major chronic diseases. Physical activity at leisure time and workload were positively associated with self-evaluated health. Our findings indicate that an important dimension reflected by self-evaluation of health is the individual's perception of own physical performance and suffice in general. There is a striking gap between the conditions which reduce the population's subjective perceived health and our ability to offer these conditions effective treatment through the health care system. This suggests differences in health concept between the medical society and the population. The association between our applied measure and coronary risk profile, based on serum cholesterol, blood pressure and cigarette smoking, was found to be almost non-existent. This supports previous findings of self-evaluation of health as an independent predictor of survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires